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Lunch Colloquium September 21
Mel KonnerWomen After All: Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy
Click on the link below to register
Lunch Colloquium, Sept 21
This Lunch Colloquium will also be webcast (see article). Click on the link below to register for the webcast:
Contact Other Members
Find other members to get together for shared interests, whether it is forming a book club or a photography club, or getting together to take a hike. Send email to the following link to contact member who would like the same activity!
If you would like to
find out about a travel destination or find other EUEC members who would like to travel with you, send an email to:
If you would like to find other EUEC members interested in taking a MOOC together, an OLLI course together, or possibly teaching together in an OLLI course, click on the following link to send an email:
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This issue of our newsletter is sent to members and friends of the Emory University Emeritus College (EUEC). I hope the newsletter will help keep you informed about our activities and help you feel connected with our members throughout the U.S. On the left are links to our website and links to contact either me or the EUEC office.
With best wishes,
Gray F. Crouse
Message from the Director
It finally feels like our EUEC semester is starting, as the first of our fall Lunch Colloquiums takes place next week. The session with Mel Konner should provide a lively start to our season; if you are unable to be here in person, I hope you will try our webcast. You can read about the production of the webcasts in a separate article; hopefully after reading that you might be more forgiving if the webcast has any "issues"!
With the announcement of President Wagner's decision to step down at the end of this year, this year will certainly be one of some uncertainty about the future. University activities still continue of course, and below you can read about what some of our faculty are doing, respond to various requests for nominations, and see what is happening with progress on a faculty club.
Finally, although our newsletter lacks a crossword puzzle, Dianne Becht is beginning a feature in which she will provide images from her walks around campus. Can you identify them? Did they even exist the last time you were on campus? I hope you will enjoy seeing bits of the campus through her lens.
I am very grateful to John Bugge and Gretchen Schulz for help with proofing and editing.
September 21 Lunch Colloquium
Women After All: Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy
The Luce Center 11:30-1:00
Melvin Konner, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor, Department of Anthropology and Program in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology
Behind the Scenes of a Webcast
Many of you are aware that we have begun to webcast some of our seminars, and hope to webcast at least most of our Lunch Colloquiums beginning this fall. If you are interested in finding out some of what is involved in doing a webcast, you can read more below. Otherwise, if you are interested in trying out a webcast, you can register using the link provided in the left panel of this newsletter.
President Wagner to Step Down at the end of Academic Year
Many of you have by now heard that President Wagner intends to step down at the end of August, 2016.
The Emory Community was informed of his decision on Friday, September 11, via two emails.
The first email was from President Wagner and can be read by clicking here
The second email was from John Morgan, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and can be read by clicking here
Our members remain active in a variety of different ways relating to the scholarly life. Please let me know what you are doing. We don't have a staff of researchers at EUEC to dig out this information!
Donald Trump continues to keep Bill Mayton busy, Dana Greene reports on several activities, and Mario DiGirolamo has a book signing at the Emory Barnes and Noble bookstore. Even if you don't want him to sign a book, I am sure he would be glad for you to stop by and say hello. It would also be a good excuse to see the bookstore, if you haven't seen it yet. It occupies parts of 3 floors in the (relatively) new Oxford Street building, which also has the largest campus Starbucks coffee shop.Click here to read about these activities
Mike Kutner continues to work tirelessly to build support on campus for establishing a faculty club. He welcomes all EUEC members in this effort. There is another Faculty Happy Hour this fall on September 16 at 4:30 pm in the Claudia Nance Rollins Building. Click here for more details.
A new activity for this fall is supported by the arrangement for three dates on which faculty and staff can get food for a special rate ($7.00 !) in the DUC Dobbs Market and then eat together in the Winship Ballroom. Click here for details. The first date for these meals was September 10, and there were a number of EUEC members in attendance. Those at our table all agreed that the food we had when we were in college was nothing like students at Emory get now!
John Bugge wrote a letter on behalf of many EUEC members supporting the establishment of some type of faculty dining area in the proposed new DUC. Many of you were signers of that letter. The letter with names of supporters can be viewed by clicking here
. The reply to John's letter can be read by clicking here
Emory Caregiver Support Program
Mary Ellen Nessmith in the Work-Life Resource Center has been very good in making her programs available to EUEC. Below is an announcement about a program on September 17 and attached are two flyers about other help they offer.
September 17, 2015
Tarbutton Hall, Room 111
Is Talking with Your Parents About Their Needs for Health Care Challenging?
How Does One Start a Conversation about the Future and Safety issues with a Loved One?
Would You Benefit From Some Guidance on How to Approach These Tough Conversations?
This session will highlight some of the more challenging care conversations that families often have to have with elders, on topics such as: giving up driving, having to move an elder out of his home, or trying to convince the elder that he or she needs in-home help. Participants will learn some mindful caregiver approaches that can ease the stress of these conversations.
If you want to find the answers to these questions and much more, then attend our upcoming workshop:
Facilitator: Nancy Kriseman
Click on this link to register:
Call for Nominations for Unsung Heroine and Golden Heart Awards
The Emory Alumni Association is seeking nominations for alumni in two categories: The Unsung Heroine is a woman who has demonstrated extraordinary dedication to issues that affect women at Emory or in the larger community, but whose efforts have not received publicity or formal recognition. The Judson C. Ward Golden Heart Award was established in May of 2010 in honor of its namesake and first recipient. Further details on these awards and how to make nominations can be found by clicking here
Repeat Call for Life of the Mind Nominations
A repeat call has come from the Provost's Office for nominations for faculty speakers to discuss "research, broadly considered, on the theme of income equality." That should be a fascinating series of talks next year! If you have possible nominations, you can read the full announcement with directions for making nominations by clicking here
Walking the campus with Dianne
If you haven't already met me, I'm Dianne, the new administrative assistant for the Emeritus College. And if you don't already know-- I love to walk, take photos, and explore the Emory campus. I'd like to share my explorations in the newsletter by creating something that I hope can be a bit of fun for everyone. I'll supply a photo from one of my walks and you figure out where it is on Emory's campus.
I'll make the first one easy, but know that I may sneak a hard one in every now and then. So, here goes.....
Where will you find this on Emory's campus?
|(Answer in the next newsletter!)|
September 21 Lunch Colloquium Women After All: Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy Dr. Konner will discuss his new book with the above title, published by Norton in March and featured in The Wall Street Journal, US News, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Times of London, and other publications (readily available through Amazon). He will summarize the argument of his book, which is that evolution has given men and women--despite their countless similarities--a few behavioral differences that have a biological foundation. The main differences in question are violence and driven--including exploitative--sexuality. These have allowed men to dominate in the past, but are increasingly irrelevant as we move into the future. Critiques of the book have highlighted male fear and anger about women's rising prospects, but also the naiveté of some feminist scholars who insist that all sex differences are cultural. In reality, they are not, and Mel is among those who believe that the steady rise of women will result in a better world for everyone. Mel holds Ph.D. and M.D. degrees from Harvard University, and is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Program in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology. He spent two years among the !Kung San (Bushmen), and has taught at Harvard and then at Emory, for over 30 years. He teaches courses on human biology, human brain/behavior relations, biological approaches to childhood, human nature, medicine and society, and the anthropology of the Jews.
He is the author of The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit (Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1982, American Book Award nominee). A completely revised edition of The Tangled Wing was published by Holt/Times Books/W.H. Freeman in January, 2002.
His other books include Becoming a Doctor: A Journey of Initiation in Medical School (Viking/Elisabeth Sifton, 1987; front page review, New York Times Book Review; Georgia Author of the Year, Nonfiction, 1988); with S. Boyd Eaton and Marjorie Shostak, The Paleolithic Prescription: A Guide to Diet and Exercise and a Design for Living (Harper and Row, 1988); Why the Reckless Survive, And Other Secrets of Human Nature Childhood, book for a major nine-hour public television series on which he appeared (Little, Brown, 1991); Medicine at the Crossroads: The Crisis in Health Care (Pantheon, 1992), for a seven-hour WNET/BBC series; Dear America: A Concerned Doctor Wants You to Know the Truth About Health Reform (Addison-Wesley, 1993); Unsettled: An Anthropology of the Jews (Viking Penguin 2003); and The Jewish Body, in the Nextbook/Schocken for their "Jewish Encounters" book series (January 2009).
To give you a flavor of what we might hear, below is some of Mel's response to various critics of his book:
I said in my last posting that I expected Women After All to offend four groups. The biggest and most vulgar response has been from the "men's rights" movement--really Quavering Male Chauvinists (QMCs) who can't wrap their minds around the fact that women are pushing the boot off their neck and even starting to twist the foot around the ankle. Steady for the toppling, boys. Don't hit the deck too hard.
The second group has been much more polite than the QMCs but no less critical: feminists who see my claims as a warmed-over, old-style, pseudoscientific male chauvinism; worse, some accuse me of sexism for saying that women are in some ways superior.
Never mind that the entire thrust of my argument is that women should have more power and influence because they are different from men; that women do better in many leadership roles because they are different; that, as I show in the book, women originated this argument 150 years ago; and that I repeatedly say there are only two behavioral sex differences that are clearly grounded in biology: violence and driven sexuality.
None of this in their eyes justifies my argument, because I don't accept that every single aspect of male and female psychology is due to differences in upbringing, education, and media. This, some feminists believe, is the start of a slippery slope that inevitably ends in oppression of women. We must, they insist, continue to believe that all sex differences (except anatomy) are cultural.
There are only two problems with this. One is that it isn't true. The other is that it becomes more difficult to sustain every year.
Just as some people think vaccines cause autism, genetically modified foods are toxic, and global climate change is not caused by people, some academic feminists cling to an increasingly untenable position: that the huge sex differences in violence and in exploitative sexuality, consistent across all cultures, are as socially constructed as wearing skirts or sporting a buzz cut.
This should be a lively start to our Fall Lunch Colloquium series!
Behind the Scenes of a Webcast
It might seem that producing a webcast would be fairly simple: just get a video camera, set it up in the back of the room so it is not in the way of the audience, and broadcast the seminar. Unfortunately, doing a webcast is not so simple, for a variety of reasons. The first is that one can't just "hook a camera up to the Internet" and broadcast. There has to be some type of computer program that will take a camera signal and provide a means for interested persons to use the same program to view the broadcast.
As I mentioned in an earlier article, one of the advantages of a major university like Emory is that we have a robust team of experts to help with technical issues. I had a very productive meeting with our videoconferencing support team, who helped me decide on both software and hardware for our webcasts. Most of us are probably not aware of the signal processing we do when we attend a seminar. If the speaker is using visuals, typically PowerPoint slides, we will sometimes focus on the speaker and sometimes will look at the slides that are being projected. We would probably find it somewhat disconcerting if we were never able to see the speaker. In addition, if we are concentrating on what the speaker is saying, we are able to suppress some of the audience noise that inevitably would be around us. Those considerations already suggest some of the problems with a camera at the back of a room taping a speaker: a camera view that would show a single view of both speaker and slides would likely produce an image of the slides that would be difficult to read, and yet having the camera shift views between the two would require constant work for a person behind the camera and would likely sometimes yield views that would not be optimal for the remote viewer. A microphone attached to the camera would produce sound for the speaker that would seem remote, even though it might reproduce what an audience member would hear.
There are in addition more technical issues, an important one being bandwidth: How much data is being transmitted? On the one hand, we would like a high resolution camera image, particularly if we wanted to view screen shots, but high resolution images require a lot of data transfer. In practice that would mean that a viewer would need a fast Internet connection and also a service contract that would allow high data service--similar to that needed for watching high definition movies. Another consideration would be the software that would be needed by the remote viewer: Would the viewer have to install (or worse, purchase) software in order to view seminars?
Considerations of issues such as the ones mentioned above led to the recommendation that we use Adobe Connect for our webcasts. There are a number of advantages offered by Adobe Connect; understanding the choices made might also help you understand why the webcast screen looks like it does, rather than just presenting a single view of the speaker. For those of you who have not seen one of our Adobe Connect sessions, here is a screen shot from the speaker introduction on July 6:
There are 4 "pods" in this screen. The largest one is a video feed from the webcam, showing Gretchen introducing the speaker with the background showing the first slide of the speaker's program. The bottom pod is a text pod with some information about the webcast. The pod in the upper right is a "chat" pod that allows anyone participating in webcast to type in a comment or question. Because of the way we set up these webcasts, the only people seeing those comments would be the other online participants and the person running the webcast (usually me). The small pod on the lower right shows the screen of the speaker's computer-in this case the PowerPoint presentation.
Another important point in our webcast setup is that the sound you hear is not picked up by the camera microphone, but is fed directly by an output from our sound system into Adobe Connect. This setup means that the sound quality is much better than would be picked up by a different microphone, but also means that a remote viewer cannot hear anything in the room that does not go through one of our microphones--note to those in the audience asking questions!
The screen layout changes once the speaker starts:
Here there are just 3 pods: one for the speaker (Steve Nowicki in this case), one in the lower left for the speaker's slides, and a pod in the lower right for any online viewers to type in questions they might have for the speaker (which would be asked by the person running the session).
Note that in the above image, one has a clear view in the lower left of the speaker's slide, but it is fairly small. When the main focus is on a slide, the layout can change (depending on when the person running the session changes the layout!) as follows:
In the above screenshot, the larger pod is now occupied by the view of the slide and the smaller pod by the video of the speaker, but the speaker is still visible. The third pod, for questions, remains.
Another advantage of Adobe Connect is that the sessions can be recorded so that members can view them later. Two of our webcasts have been recorded: (click on links to see the recordings)
Delivering these webcasts has been a learning experience! The video images are somewhat fuzzy-looking, and I spent considerable time trying to get better images, suspecting that there might be some problem with our webcam. I finally discovered that Adobe Connect limits the video resolution to a maximum of 640 x 480. This is much less than our webcam resolution, but the resolution is limited in order to reduce bandwidth requirements so that viewers will not have issues because of Internet speed and data usage. Therefore if you are viewing the webcast on your smartphone (and at least one of our members has!), your data usage will not be astronomical. Getting the best sound quality has also been a process of trial and error--both the output from our sound system into the computer and the input level of the computer can be adjusted, and if the levels are too high, there is distortion, and if the levels are too low, it is difficult to hear the speaker. On the production end, the setup is relatively complicated. Two computers are used: one for the speaker's slides, and one controlling the webcast. Both have to be running Adobe Connect software. The computer screen of the speaker's computer has to be shared with the host computer. The host computer has inputs from the webcam and the sound system and controls the various Adobe Connect layouts. The internal microphones and speakers of both computers have to be turned off in order not to get feedback. I generated a list of steps in the setup process so I could try to make sure that everything got done, and in the proper order: The list runs almost two full pages. One of the many steps is "Start recording." If that step is overlooked, everything runs fine, but there is no archival recording! Therefore if one of our webcasts is not available later, it probably means I forgot that step. There are some "fragile" parts of the webcast. For example, if the speaker were to accidentally close the Adobe Connect program on the speaker's computer, the pod with the slides on it would be lost, and the only way to regain it would be to reconfigure the speaker's computer, which would be a major interruption of the talk.
Another advantage of Adobe Connect is that there are minimal requirements for those viewing the webcasts. The first time a person tries to view a webcast (which is typically in a browser such as Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or Internet Explorer), a plugin for Adobe Flash may be needed, but there will be a prompt for the user to install it. On an iPad or iPhone, an Adobe Connect app is needed, but the user is sent to the Apple Store to get it if they haven't installed it, and the app is free. Subsequent viewings of webcasts just require clicking on a link.
Those wanting to view a webcast are asked to register by clicking on a link that sends them to our Trumba reservation system. The reason for requiring reservation is so that I can send information only to those who need it. If a webcast is for some reason cancelled or there are changes in the way connections are made, I know who should be informed. Those who want to view a recorded webcast don't need to register; links will be provided as for the two previously recorded webcasts.
I welcome feedback from any of you who view our webcasts, or have tried viewing and failed. What improvements would you suggest? The layouts we use for our webcasts can be changed and resized and I am certainly willing to do further experiments to optimize our webcasts.
William T. Mayton
Simmons Professor of Law, EmeritusMPR (Minnesota Public Radio) featured an interview with
EUEC Member Bill Mayton on August 26:
Should the 14th Amendment be repealed?
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 1:00 AM
Donald Trump continues to stir up controversy with his push to repeal the 14th Amendment, and end the law that declares children born on American soil are automatically U.S. citizens. We look at what is behind this push, and what it would mean to repeal that amendment. Guests: William Ty Mayton, Emeritus Professor of Law at Emory University and author of the forthcoming book, "Sustainers, Citizens of the United States;" Bernadette Meyler, professor of law at Stanford Law School.
You can click here
for a link to the podcast.
Dean Emerita, Oxford College
EUEC Member Dana Greene has had several recent publications and presentations:
"Denise Levertov" in Poetry and Prayer: Continuities and Discontinuities, London: Ashgate, 2015.
"The Poetry of Anne Porter." Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature. Fall 2014.
"Writing the Biography of Denise Levertov." Lead presentation at the Loyola University Conference " The Poetry and Poetic Life of Denise Levertov," October 23-14, 2015.
Professor of Medicine, Emeritus
EUEC Member Mario DiGirolamo will have a book signing of his photography book Visione that will take place at Barnes and Noble on Oxford Street in the Emory Village on Saturday, September 26, from 1 to 2:30 PM.
Mario has recently published a second book of black and white photographs illustrating "Moments of Life" taken in the last five decades. A copy of the book is in the Luce Center, and you are welcome to stop by and read it.
The introduction to the book is by Brooks Jensen, Editor of LensWork, a highly successful photo magazine.
Mario is represented by the Lumière Fine Art Gallery in Atlanta which has shown 27 of his images for the last 3 months.Click here to return to top
Emory University Emeritus College
The Luce Center
825 Houston Mill Road NE #206
Atlanta, GA 30329